Government minister vows to fix ‘broken’ system segregating people with autism and learning disabilities

Everycare UKEvery patient held in long-term segregation or seclusion is to be reviewed by independent advocates to fix a ‘broken’ care system for autistic people and those with learning disabilities, health secretary Matt Hancock has announced. People with learning disabilities or autism are kept segregated in hospital for years.

Too many people with learning disabilities or autism are admitted to hospital unnecessarily or kept segregated in hospital for years with little say over their own lives or future.

Today’s publication of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report into the use of restraint and segregation in health and care settings, reveals poor staff training about autism and learning disabilities, a patient segregated for a decade and the segregation of children as young as 11-years-old.

Reasons for prolonged time in segregation included delayed discharge from hospital due to there being no suitable package of care available in a non-hospital setting.

The CQC has discovered patients’ interactions with other people are “characterised by distress and sometimes by the use of force by staff”.

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